Symptoms of Food Allergies

There are many different symptoms of food allergies.

When talking about food allergies many people think of the classic case of a child allergic to peanuts.  She can’t taste, touch, or even smell a peanut or else she will go into anaphylactic shock. Her throat will begin to close and she will have trouble breathing. Hopefully someone finds her epi-pen and correctly administer it, at which point she immediately recovers and is absolutely fine.

The reality is, although a peanut allergy can be extremely serious and the story above has happened before to peanut allergic children, there are many other less dramatic symptoms of FAs.

A peanut allergy is one of the few allergies that lead to anaphylactic shock. There are many other signs of food allergies that are not as serious or obvious, making them easier to handle but more difficult to identify.

The reality is, although a peanut allergy can be extremely serious and the story above has happened before to peanut allergic children, there are many other less dramatic symptoms of FAs.

A peanut allergy is one of the few allergies that lead to anaphylactic shock. There are many other signs of food allergies that are not as serious or obvious, making them easier to handle but more difficult to identify.

Other symptoms of food allergies include: 

  • Hives
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Eczema
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Coughing
  • Swelling of the throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Asthma

The problem with some symptoms of food allergies are that they may occur 3 days after the offending food is eaten. Because of this many people don’t make the connection and continue to eat the food, accepting the symptom as normal or attributing them to a different reason.

If your child has these symptoms and you suspect food may be the culprit, begin a food diary to record what, when and how much she’s eating as well as the symptoms and when they occur. Once you have done this a week or so look for patterns and see which food you think is the problem.

The problem with some symptoms of food allergies are that they may occur 3 days after the offending food is eaten. Because of this many people don’t make the connection and continue to eat the food, accepting the symptom as normal or attributing them to a different reason.

If your child has these symptoms and you suspect food may be the culprit, begin a food diary to record what, when and how much she’s eating as well as the symptoms and when they occur. Once you have done this a week or so look for patterns and see which food you think is the problem.

Of course you can also have your child tested for food allergies, and this is also a recommended course of action if you suspect allergies, but it’s also a good idea to keep the food symptom diary anyway. Food allergy tests may yield false negatives, and bringing a food diary to your child’s allergist can help him figure out which foods may be a problem as well.

There are many different symptoms of FAs. Some of them are not obvious and it may not always be clear which food is the culprit. With a little work and observation however, you should be able to correctly identify which foods your child is allergic.